A Vow of Stability
Watercolor on paper (cold press 140lb) by Monina Mitchell
For the last four years I have been praying about making a vow of stability. I ran across this idea and it stuck in my heart; I’ve been praying about it ever since. The vow comes from the Benedictine Monks who added a vow of stability to the vows they had already. The reason for the vow was so that monks wouldn’t move but would see what their life would be if served in one area for a long time.
According to www.stmarysmonastery.org this is the definition of a vow of stability:
This vow binds the monk to remain in the community which he is entering for life. Other religious orders have several houses, schools, or missions spread over the world, and a member is assigned to various locations over the course of his life. The Benedictine monk, however, stays in the same monastery all his life. In rare cases, stability can be transferred, for example if a monastery establishes another monastery, the monk may be assigned to relocate to the new foundation as long as his service is needed there. This vow should also preclude the temptation for one to think that he’d be better off in some other monastery, or better off leaving monastic life altogether, if difficulties are encountered. It is a commitment of love to the community for God’s sake, to be of service to the brothers who God has brought together in a particular place to perform his work.
It has taken me four years of prayer but here is my vow of stability.
12 cities and
For the last 20 years I have not had stability.
3 different careers and
27 different jobs.
I make this vow of stability.
I am here for as long as God would give me.
I am here, and my heart is settled on this place.
The place I will call home until called home.
In life’s ups and downs.
In times of prosperity and poverty.
I devote my life to this place.
I will never again abandon this place.
After all this change.
I am now settled.
I am now stable.
Have your way.